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Propane shortage driving up prices

Updated: 01/21/2014 5:34 PM
Created: 01/20/2014 8:21 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

People are starting to see the effect of the cold weather on people’s household budgets. For people in the Rochester area who heat their home with propane, the cost per gallon has gone up 50 cents in three months.

Kathy Leone, Webster homeowner, said, “The price just seems to go up week after week with no guarantee of what I'm going to pay. You can't possibly budget or plan for that type of increase.”

Kathy Leone contacted News10NBC after we first reported the spike in the cost of propane. Her kitchen counter is covered with her heating bills. In October, her bill was $2.54 a gallon. In January, her bill was $3.21 a gallon.

That’s the trend across upstate New York. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in October, the average propane cost was $2.84 a gallon. Now it is $3.47.

Kathy Leone says her family converted to propane because they thought it would save them money.

Leone said, “We thought we would be saving money by putting in a propane furnace. It's costing us more and we're freezing in our house. We keep it at like 62 just to save money.”

Tom Heslop, NY Propane Gas Association, said, “Right now, it is weather. It's cold. If you look back, 2010 was warm. 2011 was warm. Last year, was a little bit colder. But right now, I think we're coldest in a couple of decades.”

The other point Tom Heslop makes is there are more homes using propane, so the demand is up because of that too. He says there is no evidence of local propane dealers running out of propane.

Click here to view the Weekly NY Propane Residential Price



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